“Very disappointing performance by the Tar Heels today. It’s hard for me to find something positive out of this from the sideline. I’m going to have to look at the film to find the positives and try to build on some things. As I’ve said before, we’ve got a long way to go. Still too many missed tackles defensively. Still too many penalties. Not playing smart and still not clicking on offense. Unable to run the ball efficiently so we’ve still got to get a lot better.”
What was the main objective defensively today and what hindered your success against the Pirates?
“That’s a good question. We went into the game saying we’re going to at least stop the run and make them throw the ball. We didn’t do either. They ran it at will and threw it at will. The missed tackles were glaring when those came up. I don’t know from standing on the sideline what the reasons were. I know this, you’ve got to play the game with passion. You’ve got to play with enthusiasm. You’ve got to play with energy. No matter what happens. It doesn’t matter. You can’t let one play affect the next play. We obviously don’t have that right now.”
Were the penalties due to the passion carrying on past the play?
“I don’t know. I’d have to look at the penalties and see exactly what happened and why they happened. I can tell you this, there’s no excuse for personal fouls no matter what happens.”
Did you think your team seemed flat today?
“I didn’t think we were going into the game but the way we performed it sure looked like it. I don’t know if I’d say flat but I would say it wasn’t the energy we expect.”
On the inability to create a pass rush against the Pirates:
“Good question. I’m not sure we got close to him. He sat back there and threw the ball. When you can run the ball at will it’s hard to do both and defend everybody.”
Thoughts on East Carolina:
“I told Ruffin (McNeill) before the game I thought this was by far his best team. He’s in year four. He’s got his guys in there. They understand what he’s trying to do and they believe in what he’s doing. They’re playing like that. I told him that before the game. He feels good about where he’s at right now and he should be. He’s in year four and they bought in.”
On Bryn Renner’s performance and the offensive struggles in the first half:
“I don’t know if there was anybody offensively that was good in the first half. I mean really. I don’t want to put it on Bryn. I’m not sure if we did anything right in the first half anywhere, offensively or defensively. We had a couple of good things happen on special teams but then we had some penalties on special teams also. But again, it’s hard for me to tell you what went wrong when everything went wrong.”
Do you feel like your team now has to reevaluate expectations after today’s game?
“My expectations aren’t going to change for the football team. They’re not going to change. Whether we meet those expectations I don’t know. But I can tell you this, we’re going to keep working extremely hard to meet those expectations. I’m not going to lower my expectations because of a poor performance. That’s not going to happen.”
How deflating is it when your offense is able to score but the defense isn’t able to create stops to keep your team in the game?
“It’s frustrating as a football team that we’re not keeping them from scoring and then we’re not scoring on offense. I wouldn’t say that we played good offensively. We made a few plays here and there but consistency is the problem right now. You’ve got to have that to be a good football team.”
On bouncing back as a team:
“Like I told them in there (locker room), we’re going to find out who we are. You find out about yourself when things are bad. Right now they’re bad. We’re going to find out about each guy. We’re going to find out about myself. We’re going to find out about the rest of the coaches and every player on the football team. First thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to look in the mirror. That’s what you’ve got to do. That’s what we’re going to do.”
On T.J. Logan’s health status:
“He’s able to do more in practice right now. So yeah, I think he’s pretty close.”